Paramore: Live at Sound Academy

Saturday, May 18, 2013
I went to see Paramore this past Monday at Sound Academy, marking my third time seeing them live:

It's been nearly eight years since I first saw them opening for Armor for Sleep in London, Ontario (the majority of the members weren't even legal to be in that bar at the time), and while they've really honed their skills, perfected their stage presence, and gotten an unprecedented amount of media coverage over the years, they are still as charming, entertaining, and dynamic as ever — the same reasons that drove me to pick up their first record at that 2005 show. They are the type of band that, after watching them perform, stays in your mind forever — their raw talent and love for creating music are incredibly apparent, even more so now that two of Paramore's founding members, who proved to be poison for the band, have left. As Hayley commented before their performance of "Anklebiters," during which she invited ten or so people from the audience to come on stage, seeing so many of their "long-time friends and fans in Toronto feels like the good ol' days." Paramore is a band that connects and interacts exceptionally well with their fans, somehow making a concert with 500+ people feel intimate — a mark of a band that can keep a hugely loyal fan base, along with hearing and seeing every single person in the venue singing along to every song with perfect lyrical memory.

The show began with "Interlude: Moving On," a 1.5-minute song and one of three "interludes" from their latest album, which was perhaps the perfect song for them to start with; like they were washing away the drama and disappointments and events causing the near-break-up of the band, and starting anew. During the show, they sang several more songs from their latest album, including their singles, "Now" and "Still Into You," and two of my favourites, "Ain't It Fun" and "Proof." But they somehow also managed to play songs from every single one of their albums, even "Decode" which was originally released with the Twilight soundtrack and "Renegade" from their Singles Club EP. Highlights for me personally were "Whoa" and "Let the Flames Begin," songs that make me incredibly nostalgic and remind me of why I fell in love with Paramore to begin with. If this show — the first time I've seen them without the Farro brothers — proves anything to me, it's that they're as strong as ever as a band, and that Hayley Williams is still one hell of a powerhouse.
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